For the last week or so we’ve had flyers up in my restaurant for missing Alabama teen Benjamin Stanford, who was last seen in Anniston, Alabama on the 5th. His Jeep Cherokee turned up in the town where my three stores are located, just about seven miles from my house and they have been searching the area ever since.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday there have been choppers flying all over the area as well as a pretty hefty police presence. As a matter of fact, although it’s completely unrelated, when I arrived at my meeting Monday afternoon at one of my restaurants, there were about eight officers with weapons drawn in the parking lot of the motel that sits behind it. I went inside pretty quickly although I was torn between staying outside and shooting some photos and actually going in to the meeting. Apparently it was a drug bust in one of the rooms but with all of the cops I saw yesterday it made me think about it.
I had to go to the Home Depot yesterday shortly before lunch to get some paint (which I have spent the last two days using in my stores) and as I was leaving I went out the back way up a road alongside a car dealership. There must have been 20 or 30 police cars from several different jurisdictions as well as news crews all hanging around. I kind of figured that they must have found the boy and sure enough they did.
According to the Carroll County Coroner, Sammy Eady, he had a gunshot wound consistent with suicide, but the Sheriff’s department is investigating anyway. His body was found about a 1000 feet from where his jeep turned up a few days ago.
Lot’s of excitement for my small but growing area and certainly not the kind of excitement anybody particularly wants. I feel bad for his family, regardless of whether Stanford killed himself or if there was foul play involved. Losing a child has got to be one of the most awful things that a parent can go through.